The Critic – Brave

I got the chance this last week to check out a movie that I have been excited to see since I saw the above picture as a poster at my local movie theatre. Then I saw the first trailer and I decided I had to see it, the animation was amazing and the mystery behind it was intriguing. The first thing I think that this movie did wrong was before it was even released, as more and more trailers came out you basically knew what the plot of the movie was going to be. But I still had some faith that I would enjoy it, so I went out and saw it. Here are my thoughts.

Brave is the story of a princess who doesn’t want to get married to anyone, much less someone she doesn’t love. Her mother is not pleased with this, among many other things she is not pleased with about her daughter, and more or less tells her she has no choice but to marry whoever wins the contest to be the one to marry her. Thus begins about twenty minutes of a whining teenager. “My mom doesn’t understand me” “Why can’t things be going the way I want them too?” “I want to do whatever I want to do and not what I should be doing”, you get the picture. Finally something interesting happens when Merida, the princess, runs away. She ends up meeting a witch who, after much coaxing, gives her a spell, well a cake, that will change her mother, thus changing her fate.

When her mother eats the cake she ends up changing in a way that will, in fact, make it so that the Queen won’t force Merida to get married. Unfortunately it ends up changing her into…a bear. This is just great because Merida’s father, King Fergus, happens to not be the biggest fan of bears, he actually kills a lot of them, and lost his leg to one when Merida was a child. This leads to a quest with Merida and her mother trying to find out how to turn her back before the second sunrise, which is when the spell becomes permanent. Meanwhile Fergus is back in the castle trying to prevent the three other tribes from going to war over the fact that Merida is refusing to get married.

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a king who had four sons. When the king died he split up his kingdom among his sons equally so that they could rule the kingdom together; this did not sit well with the oldest son. He wanted to rule the kingdom all for himself, so he left his brothers and began a war. I think some more stuff happened after that but that is all I really remember. Why is this important? Thanks for asking! The brother, we find out, went to the same witch Merida did and got a potion to make him stronger so that he could beat his brothers. What did that potion do? Man you are full of questions! It turned him into a bear, not just any bear but the bear that bit off Fergus’ leg.

So Merida and the Queen figure out how to change her back into a human and they go back to the castle but quickly get chased out by Fergus and the other tribes, a crazy chase scene occurs and Merida is stuck in her room. She eventual escapes, grabs her horse and tries to catch up with the tribes before they end up killing her mother. Does Merida succeed? Does the Queen become human again? Does Fergus kill his wife and then regret his decision for ever after? Go see the movie, I’m not gonna give you ALL the answers.

What did I like about this movie? The animation was great, I absolutely loved it, the scenery was beautiful and a wonder to behold. CGI has really come a long way in the last 10 years. I loved the music, it had a great Celtic feel and it was epic, as was the whole idea of the movie. This was an epic fantasy for kids, that is something I thought was great about this. I’m a sucker for fantasy and any way to get kids into fantasy is A OK by me! This movie had some very funny scenes, Merida’s little brothers where super funny and super adorable, especially when they become bears themselves. That was definitely a redeeming quality to this movie.

What didn’t I like about this movie? You knew how it was going to end before the movie started. If you’ve seen anything past the first trailer, you know what’s going to happen and you know how it’s going to end. At one point the movie seemed like it was going to go somewhere different from I thought, but it didn’t, it was predictable through and through. As I stated before, this movie is about a little girl who wants to get everything her way, it was really really annoying at points. I guess what is important in the end of this movie, especially a predictable kids movie like this, was did I have fun? If the answer is yes, then it succeeded in its main job. And did I have fun? Yes, I definitely did and I would suggest this movie to fans of Disney/Pixar efforts and animated movies in general.

Brave: 7/10

Check it out but go to it on a cheap night or a matinée.

***

I’m gonna add a bonus review to this for the short film La Luna at the beginning of Brave.

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